Criminal defence solicitors fulfil various important roles during the course of a criminal procedure. The primary role is to defend the person charged with the crime by speaking on their behalf or representing them in court. Of course, there are various elements involved in this role and this needs to be considered when dealing with a criminal solicitor.
1: Assignment Of The Case
To use the services of a criminal law solicitor, the solicitor will be assigned the case either by the court or contacted directly by the defendant. The majority of criminal defence lawyers are public defenders assigned by local or state courts and paid by the public defender’s office.
If the criminal defence solicitor is hired by private firms, the professional will use an independent legal office to represent themselves. Public defenders are often paid less than private attorneys; however, they also tend to have a greater caseload because of the referral process. In certain cases, a court may require a private solicitor to take specific cases.
2: Interviewing The Client
When a criminal law solicitor is presented with their case, they have the opportunity to meet the client face-to-face. During this meeting, the solicitor tries to obtain as many details about the case as possible. By asking certain questions, he or she can learn about potential weaknesses and strengths in the case. Interviewing the client is essential as it helps the solicitor prepare a strong argument.
3: Investigation Into The Case
In addition to conducting an interview with the criminal defendant, a criminal law solicitor is obliged to investigate the case further. Further investigation will help determine any potential chances for acquittal. This can include questioning the investigating police about procedures used during the case.
It can also include speaking with witnesses and collecting information about the case. All of the information is utilised to build a defence for the client. If an expert witness is used, the criminal defence solicitor can interview them regarding the testimony provided and the evidence produced.
It is important to note that criminal defence attorneys have the right to review the prosecuting attorney’s case before it is submitted to the jury. This ensures they discover ‘holes’ in the case and can find evidence to refute the case.
4: Analysis Of Evidence
Criminal law solicitors are obliged to analyse evidence in a criminal law case as a means of studying the facts and theories. In some instances, the evidence may need to be independently tested by experts and laboratory technicians will need to be hired. Furthermore, a criminal law solicitor may need to determine if there are legal theories that can be applied to work in favour of the client.
5: Jury Selection And Trial Participation
Criminal law solicitors operate in criminal court; therefore, they have a say in the jury selection procedure. The professional can attempt to have jurors removed if they feel the individual is biased against the defendant. Once the jury is selected, the criminal defence solicitor must represent their client in a trial. During the trial, he or she questions witnesses, cross-examines state witnesses, and attempts to convince the jury that their client is innocent.